I was once told, that my body is my only perpetual home
One that I rightfully and eternally supposedly own.
A home in which I paint the walls whatever colors I want
And plant whatever flowers I choose to display up front.
My home where I express myself,
My life choices, plans, future, and health.
I decorate my lawn with lavish roses and swans.
Yes, inviting she looks: “did you see what she had on?”
A fence secured, doors, and windows locked,
Although the mat says “welcome”,
Consent may say that “you’re not”.
My kitchen is clean and my living room is neat
Yet, I choose when to cook or whether you can have a seat.
My home is filled with choices, all of my own
From who can walk in, to who can answer the phone.
But at some point, my home became less of my own.
I thought all my choices were there,
Like, what style do I want my own hair?
Or something more like life and death,
Like do I have the ability to care for another’s health?
Do I have 9 months and time aside from school?
Am I ready for shameful looks from eyes that can be so cruel?
Am I ready to carry a weight that is heavier than me?
No matter which choice I make people will see what they want to see.
In knowing what good there could or could not be.
Chucked into a system that once outside of womb refuses to care
Or taken in by a loving family with plenty to share.
But for me, I see lives that benefit from choice
Having the option is freedom in which we should rejoice.
In my home, I perceive everything perpetually my own
Embellished in what I want, what I need, and what I choose.
I relish in this freedom and my body I hone as my home
And like choice, is something that I cannot ever lose.
Written by Tene’sha Crews, who uses activism, poetry, and art to encourage people to make a difference in the issues that affect varying communities.